Sunday, May 06, 2007

Masses for Gay activists and Bishop Longley

Briefing. Bishop Longley, regarded as one of the more 'conservative' auxiliary bishops of the Archdiocese of Westminster, has been put in charge of the Warwick Street Masses for a group of militant gay activists, which we reported on here, by Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor. It remains the Cardinal's responsibility, however, and it seems a mistake to focus criticism of the Masses on Longley, who ultimately has no power to stop them. It also seems inappropriate to use the Rosary Crusade of Reparation as an opportunity for protesting about these Masses. It is a great success for the organisers that an English bishop will lead the procession: the hierarchy should be encouraged, not discouraged, from taking part in these events.

Report in the Catholic Herald (Apr 27th) (in part): 'A bishop has been urged to step down from leading a rosary procession in London after he arranged the celebration of Masses especially for homosexuals.
Pro Ecclesiae et Pontifice, a conservative lay Catholic movement, wrote to Auxiliary Bishop Bernard Longley of Westmister to warn that he faced the threat of vigilante action if he led this year's Crusade of Reparation.
Daphne MacLeod, chairwoman of the group, said she has no advance word that the bishop would be heckled or accosted but said similar incidents has happened in the past when people were deeply annoyed.'

The accuracy of (this part of) the report is confirmed by a letter from Daphne MacLeod in the May 4th issue of the Catholic Herald, in which she explains that her letter to Bishop Longley must have been leaked to the press by someone in his office.

The article went on to report the accusations made against these Masses, and explains that the Rosary Crusade, a procession through the streets of London attended by 2,000 people, has not been led by a bishop of England and Wales for more than a decade.

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Pope Leo XIII's Prayer to St Michael

Holy Michael, Archangel, defend us in the day of battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust down to Hell Satan, and all wicked spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen